Monday, July 6, 2020
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The season of Joy! The season of giving! So, what can we wrap up and give to our kids? How about giving JOY? How about wrapping up these top 10 gifts and let your kids unwrap them all year long:

1.       Time… Your children need your presence more than your presents.  How about spending more time with your kids. You know they want it so badly.   A few minutes in the back yard a few times each week just playing catch. Do you know how fun it is for your kids to be the quarterback and send you out on pass patterns? They will love it. A game of horse on the driveway…  Playing a game of one-on-one soccer in the backyard using your shoes as goal markers. You can even make up games and just have fun.  Drop your coach’s whistle, throw out the statistics, and let go of the pressure of scholarships; laugh and have a blast.

2.       Acceptance…. How about loving them and encouraging them all year long, letting them know that whatever they do and however they do it, you are their biggest fan.  If you want to increase their self-image, and confidence, then give this one a try.  Make sure they know that nothing they do or say could ever make you love them less or more.  It’s important that they know, your love is not based on their performance.

3.       Success… How about giving them the sense that they are successful. Give a full year where there is no fear of failing. If they only knew that working their hardest and giving everything they have and never giving up is how you define their success, then you will give them a beautiful gift.

4.       Approval… how about a full year of them not feeling that your approval of them is performance based.  Pay attention to the things they are doing well, and let them know you take pleasure in them, in who they are and in what they mean to you.  So, throw away that stat book and all the personal records and personal bests and let them know that they are appreciated “period”.

5.       You… How about letting them get to know you. What stories do you have to tell them of when you were a kid? What about all those dumb things you did? What about your success stories? What about telling them what makes you sad today as a grown up. Give them all of you. Let them into your heart. They so badly want to know YOU.

6.       Them… How about really getting to know your kids. Do you know his favorite color? Do you know what is her favorite thing about her best friend? Do you know what makes them feel accepted by you? Do you know what makes them afraid of you? Do you know what your kids would change about you if they could? Do you know how you are affecting them?  Ask questions and then listen closely.  What do you know better, your kid’s batting average against left-handed pitchers or his heart?

7.       Affection… How about lots of hugs? Wrap your arms around your kids rather than wrapping up a ton of presents. Hey, and how about verbally, yes verbally saying those 3 words: “I love you”.  Even a Dad to his teenage son. Don’t miss out on the impact of physical touch and verbal expression, especially when your kids get older. For some reason, it tends to be easier to hug our five-year-old son than it is our 14-year-old son. Don’t let that happen to you.

8.       Freedom… How about giving permission for your kids to explore and have fun with different sports? This may mean getting rid of your personal agenda for them to work hard at only one sport to dominate the sport so that they can get a college scholarship, often bringing burn-out and lost enjoyment for that sport. Or maybe that means picking up a musical instrument or a paintbrush… let them discover their hidden gifts and talents by trying lots of new things.

9.       Relaxation… How about going to a movie together, or a getting double scoop of ice cream, or watching TV, or playing a video game? Yes, all those “lazy”, leisure things we try to steer our kids away from. Well, have fun while violating those rules every once in a while.

10.   FUN…. How about a whole year of having fun? Fun, not at your level or your agenda, but all based on them, and what they want to do.  FUN! Be their friend, their playmate, and throw away all other agendas and roll around in the mud, jump in the pile of leaves, order some pizza and some soda while staying up past bedtime watching their favorite movie. FUN!

Make this season last.   Wrap these gifts up and hand them out all year!

If you have comments or questions for Tom Kuyper, email him at:



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